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Margali Szardos

Margali Szardos
Margali. Art by Darick Robertson
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Uncanny X-Men Annual #4 (January 1980)
Created by Chris Claremont
John Romita, Jr.
In-story information
Alter ego Margali Szardos
Team affiliations Hellfire Club
Shadow Hunters
Notable aliases Margali of the Winding Way, Red Queen, Fata Morgana
Abilities Spell-casting
flaming sword
extendable claws
mystic energy blasts

Margali Szardos, also known as Margali of the Winding Way, Red Queen or Fata Morgana, is a fictional comic book character appearing in books published by Marvel Comics. She first appeared in Uncanny X-Men Annual #4, and was created by writer Chris Claremont and artist John Romita, Jr. based on sketches by John Byrne.[1]

Margali is Nightcrawler's adopted mother. She is also the biological mother of Amanda Sefton, formerly known as Daytripper and the second Magik.

Fictional character biography

Margali Szardos in her first panel ever, as she faces the X-Men and Dr. Strange in X-Men Annual #4, (1980). Art by John Romita Jr. & Bob McLeod.

Margali Szardos' past is as much of an enigma as she is. She was supposedly born in Paris, France and taught magic by her mother, but she has yet to reveal her true origins. Margali's particular discipline of magic is called 'The Winding Way.' [2]

Once having been married, Szardos has two children: Stefan and Jimaine (AKA Amanda Sefton). She supposedly had an affair with the demonic mutant Azazel who, at the time, had also seduced Mystique who was then posing as the wife of Baron Christian Wagner. The Baron, who was infertile, suspected his wife of infidelity and, when the pain of childbirth caused Mystique to shift back to her natural form and deliver a devilish-looking child, the locals rose up against mother and son. Mystique fled, throwing the child over a waterfall where he was later found and adopted by Margali. Whether she knew the child's origins or not, she raised the boy as her own.[3]

Working at Der Jahrmarkt as a fortune-teller to cover her tracks, Margali discovered that the Demon Belasco was sowing seeds of destruction into the Earth. She tricked her daughter into staying with her in Der Jahrmarkt by killing Sabu, Jimaine and Kurt's trapeze mentor. A day after Sabu's death, Kurt left Der Jahrmarkt to start a new life with the X-Men. Jimaine followed him to America and changed her name to Amanda Sefton, taking a job as a flight attendant. She and Kurt have since had an on-again, off-again relationship.

Years later Margali learned that Kurt had killed Stefan. Too deep in grief to question why, Margali exiled Nightcrawler's soul to a dimension resembling "Dante's Inferno." With help from Jimaine and Doctor Strange, Kurt was exonerated.[4]

During Margali's time of weakness on The Winding Way, she was captured by the demon D'Spayre. After being rescued by Jimaine and Nightcrawler, Margali began her quest to take possession of a magical weapon called the Soulsword. Margali tricked her daughter once again by giving her a warning about a sorcerer called Gravemoss who was trying to kill all above him on The Winding Way. Amanda travelled to Muir Island and found that Gravemoss had possessed Kurt. After defeating Gravemoss, Amanda gave her mother the Soulsword and Margali used it to kill all the other sorcerers stationed above her. Amanda then joined Excalibur under the codename Daytripper.

Hoping to release a demon under London, Margali joined the U.K branch of the Hellfire Club as the Red Queen and kidnapped the mutant hybrid Douglock. Her efforts were foiled by Excalibur and Margali disappeared only to be captured by Belasco. With her last bit of magic she swapped souls with her daughter. Margali's soul, now in Amanda's body, took Nightcrawler to Limbo where they were able to rescue her body and defeat Belasco. After the battle, Nightcrawler returned to the X-Men and Margali left Amanda to rule Limbo. Amanda then took the name Magik for herself.

Margali becomes the Red Queen

Margali has reappeared recently to find Nightmare torturing her daughter. Nightmare was under control of a demon called Hive who was looking for the Soulsword. Nightcrawler was able to defeat Hive with the help of Margali, Jimaine and Nightmare. During the battle Margali revealed that Nightcrawler possessed the Soulsword. Nightcrawler currently keeps the Soulsword inside his body. It is not known where Margali will turn up next.

Powers and abilities

Margali is an accomplished sorceress, equal of almost any sorcerer on Earth, occupying the "The Winding Way's" highest position. The Winding Way grants mystic power, but that power ebbs and flows unpredictably, affecting the strength of Margali's magic. Maragli can cast spells and transform herself. As the Red Queen she manifested her magic as a flaming sword, could extend her nails into long talons, and fire blasts of red arcane energy. Upon her first meeting of Doctor Strange she summoned his Eye of Agamotto away from him against his will, a feat which made him consider that her powers could rival or dwarf his own.

In other media

Margali appears in the X-Men: Evolution episode, The Toad, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Along with her daughter, Amanda, her history and background from the comics is not represented, and is instead portrayed as a normal African-American woman. The only feature to remain from her comic background is her name, as said by her husband.